Quick question: Do you like yourself?
When asked this question, many people respond by saying something like, “Sure, of course I like myself.” While their words say they like themselves, what do their actions say?
Are you someone who’s comfortable in their own skin? Are you happy with your appearance? Are you constantly comparing yourself to others, wishing you could be more like them? When you look in the mirror, what do you see? A superstar, or someone who doesn’t quite live up to your own expectations?
The thing is, our self-esteem is based on how we feel about ourselves, right now in this moment. Sure, it’s okay to strive to become a better version of ourselves, so long as we accept this current version, flaws and all is fine right now.
If you’re someone who is overly self-critical, here are 5 ways you can learn to like yourself better:
1. Enjoy Your Accomplishments
Some people are so focused on everything that’s wrong with them, they overlook at what’s right. When you’ve done something well, it’s important that you admit this success and enjoy it.
It doesn’t have to be something huge, either. Anytime you do something kind, something better than the last time you tried, or when you do the “right thing.” If you made a really delicious lasagna, allow yourself the pleasure of enjoying every single bite and happily receive any compliments from those you cooked for. Or accept the “thank you” or smile you receive for holding the door for a stranger.
2. Understand That No One is Perfect
If you’ve been comparing yourself to other people, it’s time for you to stop and realize that no one is perfect. Not the models you see on the cover of magazines, nor the actors in the movies. They have professional makeup artists, careful lighting, and many of them have been photo-shopped.
Not even the so-called perfect among us are actually perfect. The sooner you can accept this fact the sooner you can relax and like who you are.
3. Have Patience with Yourself
Perhaps there are things about yourself that you would like to change. Do you want to lose weight, get healthier, learn a new language?
Often we hate ourselves for not reaching impossible goals we have set for ourselves. If there are goals you would like to reach, be realistic in setting timelines and be patient with yourself. Also, make sure to give yourself credit for steps in the right direction. Liking yourself isn’t a place to get to, it is a way to live.
4. Look at Your Past with a Kind Eye
Sometimes we don’t like ourselves because of past actions and behaviors. It’s important to cut yourself some slack. When you were young, you may not have always acted kindly toward loved ones or strangers. Maybe you acted selfishly more often than you care to admit, but this is a part of being young. We can only learn and grow from mistakes by making them first.
So embrace your past, warts and all, as the path towards becoming who you are today. Then continue your journey knowing that the mistakes you make now are helping you grow into even better version of yourself tomorrow.
5. Like “Most” of Yourself
You may never like 100% of yourself, and that’s okay. Strive to like 80% or 90%. You can still live an incredibly happy life when you think ‘only’ 85% of you is awesome.
A healthy self-esteem is important to our overall well-being, but getting there can be difficult, especially if you’ve suffered from a low self-esteem your entire life. Working with a therapist can be very beneficial. Someone who is impartial and completely new to you can help you gain clarity and a new perspective on yourself and your life. If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today to discuss setting up a free consultation session.